FL- Startling win for victims in high profile FL child sex case
For immediate release: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
In an unusual ruling, a judge is letting alleged child sex abuse victims see secret government records about a disturbing plea deal between prosecutors and a prominent Florida millionaire, Jeffrey Epstein.
We applaud the brave and determined women who have won this unprecedented legal victory.
All too often, powerful predators exploit their influence and win special treatment and consideration from governmental officials. Such favoritism endangers kids. It also makes adults cynical about the justice system and deters them from reporting known and suspected child sex crimes in the future.
We hope these women will be able to persuade a judge to make these secret records public and let more charges be filed against Epstein. Secrecy is a child predator's best weapon.
And we hope that this startling victory will prod other victims and their legal advocates to keep pushing for more openness and transparency from the justice system. Ever so slowly, in child sex cases, the tide is turning away from the guilty adults and toward the innocent kids and wounded victims. So those who were sexually assaulted in childhood must be persistent and creative in our efforts for justice, prevention and healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.